Food waste is a massive problem in most developed countries. In the US, figures released this year suggest that the average American family throws away 40% of the food they purchase – which adds up to $165bn (£102bn) annually.
That’s insane. But there was no source for the figure quoted in this article, so I did some research. Here’s where the stats came from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/21/food-waste-americans-throw-away-food-study_n_1819340.html
http://www.businessinsider.com/fao-wasted-food-2011-5?op=1 also had good stas and charts of 1st world vs 3rd world waste.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/weekinreview/18martin.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 has a visial aid with pounds per person, yearly.
This one has the money quote, though: http://www.naturalnews.com/033885_food_waste_America.html
Since 1974, per capita food waste has jumped an astounding 50 percent, with the average American now producing roughly five pounds of trash every day. About 12 percent of this waste is food-based waste, which translates into at least half a pound per day, per American, a truly disturbing figure.
And just what is the cause of this massive increase? Bloom suggests that a generational transition from those who lived through wars, the Great Depression, and other tough times, to those who have lived in relatively easier times, as one explanation. But another has to do with Americans gradual separation from the food they grow, and how this separation affects perceptions about food.(emphasis mine)
Believe me, if you’ve ever tried to even grow a portion of your own food, you quickly realize just how much work goes into growing it and grow almost allergic to waste.
40 percent, fifty percent…whatever. The mind boggles. Not counting the vegetable peels that end up in our compost heap or chicken skin that goes to our mouser cat, our family of four adults throws out useless organic mattter (we freeze it until trash day to stop odor) that is the volume of a brick. This is for a week. It’s mostly things like chicken bones.